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Spending in the Clouds

Basecamp has cut back its reliance on Amazon and Google, but there's one area where it's tough to find alternatives to Big Tech: cloud services. Even so, there are ways to cut spending on this $3 million annual expense while keeping the company's apps run

Updated on November 21
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Key Smash Notes In This Episode

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Blake Stoddard , from Basecamp Ops team, was curious to see if he would be able to save company money by optimizing their cloud spent. Turns out, he could, on order order of hundreds of thousands of dollars!

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They used to run their own data centres, and still do for the older products. However, when Basecamp 3 came around, they wanted to run it on a more scalable system. When you have your own data centre, you have to administer your hardware. With the cloud, all of that is abstracted and is taken care of your.

Basecamp starter their cloud journey with AWS in 2016, tired Google Cloud for a while, but eventually went back to Amazon.

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Modern websites might not cost a lot to host on the cloud until they explode in popularity, when services that used to be cheap end up consuming a ton, and overall costs blow up without you noticing.

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Basecamp team started by looking at the legacy apps and comparing real traffic to their forecasts. It turned out that by re-planning their spent , and taking advantage of AWS prepaid instances, they were able to save 250k out of $500k they were putting into legacy systems. After that, they wrote some tools to display what they were spending and where, and the team looked for sudden increases. Lots of charges were not obvious, and they had to go through AWS documentation’s and pricing charts to figure out what each line item was for. It was very time consuming, but at the end, Blake and team were able to save ~20% of their cloud storage bill.

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